An Amtrak train carrying GOP lawmakers and their staff to a retreat has collided with a garbage truck, killing at least one person, and injuring others. This is a developing story.
"The train was carrying House and Senate members, aides and some members' spouses and children, although it was not immediately clear which members were on board," reports the WaPo.
The White House confirms one fatality, and while no lawmakers or staff are reported injured at this time, there are reports that at least one lawmaker and one staff member have been taken to a nearby hospital for possible concussions.
President Trump was aware of the incident.
Republican Senator Bill Cassidy was on the train, and tweeted that of the three people traveling in the truck, one was killed. He added that one of the other two people in the truck was seriously injured, the other person had minor injuries. There are reports that two Amtrak workers sustained injuries.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is launching a go-team to investigate the cause of the crash.
Just learned of the crash involving the train carrying Republican Members of Congress to their retreat today. Praying that all are well both on the train and off.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) January 31, 2018
From the NYT:
An Amtrak spokesman said that the train hit a vehicle on the tracks at 11:20 a.m. in Crozet, Va., northwest of Charlottesville. Two members of the train's crew and two passengers were transported to a hospital with minor injuries, the spokesman said.
"It was pretty jarring," said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who described the incident as a "violent crash."
Several members of Congress including Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, Representative Greg Walden of Oregon and Senator Steve Daines of Montana tweeted that they were safe. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan was aboard, but Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, was not.
The train was taking lawmakers to an annual retreat being held this year in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, just west of the Virginia state line.
Amtrak said in a statement the collision occurred at 11:20 a.m. and local law enforcement was investigating the incident. Crozet is a tiny town between the college town of Charlottesville, Virginia, and White Sulphur Springs.
Immediately after the crash, a law enforcement team dressed in black surrounded the train with automatic weapons drawn and searched the surrounding area for possible attackers as first responders treated the injured, said a local emergency worker, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"They surrounded the train on both sides and set up a perimeter with their automatic weapons pointing out and then searched the woods around the train," the worker said. "At least five members of Congress helped firefighters and EMTs (emergency medical technicians) treat the three injured people who had been in the truck."
PHOTO: The scene following the accident in Crozet, Virginia. Congressman Greg Walden/via REUTERS